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Haven and Hope

teacher in classroom

My time at the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School (O-School) has been nothing short of amazing. Even the way the O-School appeared in my life was music to my ears. I am an avid listener of WFMT Classical radio. In the past, I played the station every day as part of my students’ learning, and it began to grow on them. As they developed a liking for classical music, it became one of their daily requests, meaning I could turn the radio up loud enough to enjoy it myself.

One day in March, I heard an ad for the O-School while listening to WFMT, and it piqued my interest. I needed to finish my student teaching training, and the O-School seemed like the perfect spot. After looking into the O-School, I reached out, and they responded immediately to schedule a Zoom meeting to answer my questions.

Student teaching is difficult; you are unpaid, under pressure, and still learning. Plus, most schools are hesitant to take on someone they don’t know. This was not the O-School way. The principal gave me a tour of the school and told me the O-School loves to take on student teachers. It was easy to see why. They paired me with an experienced and phenomenal math teacher. My student teaching experience at O-School was a great time of learning as well as an opportunity to build relationships with my team and students. Throughout, I felt fully supported by my team, and I still am as a new teacher at the O-School.

I am delighted to say I finished my degree in December, and now my email signature confidently reads: Darrellyn Green, M. Ed Learning Behavior Specialist. We opened a new base class with seven awesome kids and full support from the entire O-School family. The atmosphere at the O-School is a strong indicator of why mental health in an academic setting is so important.

The O-School offers opportunities for genuine friendships and to work with awesome professionals, who have guided me on my teaching journey. After working in various school settings as a tutor and teacher, the O-School has been the most enjoyable experience so far. You might say, it has been music to my ears!

Author Darrellyn Green, M. Ed, serves as a teacher for day programs at the O-School. If you have a child or loved one who you believe may benefit from the O-School’s day program, please visit our inquiry page or call our Director of Admissions, Kristin Friesen, at 773-420-2891. 

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Haven and Hope is a destination for professionals, educators, and parents to learn from O-School experts about the issues facing children and adolescents with a variety of social-emotional challenges and/or autism, and how various aspects of the School’s 21st century therapeutic milieu provides a safe haven and a path to hope for those in need.

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